A Night of Theatre: The Boy Who Stopped Smiling


The Boy Who Stopped Smiling
, a children’s play written by acclaimed Indian playwright Ramu Ramanathan and directed by veteran theatre artist Jaimini Pathak, was staged at IHS on 24th August. One of the most successful children’s plays in India, The Boy Who Stopped Smiling tackles a theme all too familiar to students – an insensitive society and pressurizing parents who fail to understand the psyche and pulse of the younger generation. The play is modeled after the GRIPS theatrical style, a contemporary realistic popular political peoples’ theatre which was founded in Germany in the 1960s by Volker Ludwig in which adult actors play children’s roles. The GRIPS concept is simple – combine brains and wit to tackle real-life issues faced by children and adolescents to show reality, develop perspectives and provide a platform to open dialogue that could lead to the emancipation of youth and sociocultural evolvement and enlightenment. The play revolves around a young boy, Malhar, a chess prodigy who dreams of defeating Indian Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. There’s one problem – he suddenly stops smiling one day. His parents direly want to “fix” him and reorient his priorities so that he conforms to their definition of success, and resort to all sorts of means to ensure the same. Were they able to bring his smile back? You’ll have to see the production yourself to find out.

Cast: Jaimini Pathak, Padma Damodaran, Deshik Vansadia, Manjiri Pupala, Scherazade Kaikobad, Mandar Gokhale

Crew: Deepak Agarwal, Arvind Panaganty, Nitin Gupta, Prateek Srivastava

Students had the privilege of interacting with the artists the subsequent morning to get a behind the scenes look at the production, as well as about professional theatre. It was an honor to bring back the Working Title Theatre Group to IHS. Last year, on 15thAugust, they had staged Mahadevbhai 1892 – 1942 and had conducted theatre workshops across all three schools.